WASHINGTON – D.C. United and Toronto FC battled to a wild 3-3 draw in the U.S. capital Saturday night.
In a game with an early red card, goals galore and a coach ejection, Dwayne De Rosario's hat trick saved a point for the home side as Toronto couldn’t capitalize on having a man advantage for 83 minutes.
The fireworks began early, but it was the finish that was spectacular. After fighting back from 1-0 and 2-1 down, Toronto took a late 3-2 lead when Danny Koevermans slipped a shot through, getting a deflection off Andy Iro past back-up ‘keeper Steve Cronin’s wickets. The Reds looked to be on the way to their first MLS road win of the season, but De Rosario – playing against his former team - hadn’t had his final say yet.
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On the ensuing kickoff, De Rosario sent in Austin da Luz down the left in flank behind Toronto’s defense. Da Luz’s shot was saved by Stefan Frei, but Da Luz collected the rebound, and Andy Iro fouled the winger in the penalty box. De Rosario stepped up and converted the spot kick for his third goal of the evening to tie the game 3-3 entering stoppage.
The Canadian legend then went down and almost scored again in the 90th minute, curling just wide of Toronto’s goal after Chris Pontius created space in the box. But that would be all for the pyrotechnics on the evening, as DC missed on a couple of late set piece opportunities.
It was much the same throughout the night. An early red card for ‘keeper Bill Hamid meant DC would be forced to play down a man as in the 7th minute, Hamid came out on a bouncing ball and went sliding in towards a long ball that newly acquired Eric Avila was charging down. The two collided and Hamid sent Avila flipping forward, and after consulting the assistant referee, Jasen Anno handed Hamid his marching orders.
Up a man, TFC began to press the issue while DC looked to sit back and strike on the counter.
Avila nearly opened the scoring early when he beat Cronin, who’d come on for Stephen King in place of Hamid, but couldn’t sneak it inside the left-hand post.
Then De Rosario got his chance. On an 18th-minute free kick, Santino Quaranta played a short ball to the veteran at the top of Toronto’s box and he made no mistake, firing a shot Frei could only parry into the net.
Holding the lead, DC were content to sit back and try to absorb Toronto’s pressure as they searched for the equalizer. Even with numbers forward, the best chance of the first half was a Joao Plata header that missed the target.
Seven minutes after the break, however, Toronto got the tying goal. Cronin attempted to punch out a cross from the left hand, but instead pushed it off his own defender and watched helplessly as substitute Peri Marosevic simply tapped it into an empty net.
From there, Toronto kicked it into a higher gear, hoping to earn their first road win of the season. But it would be the home side that would take the 2-1 lead when a Pontius cross wasn’t cleared by Iro. De Rosario was there again, pouncing on the ball, rounding Frei and scoring his second of the game.
In a strange set of circumstances, Toronto equalized again in the 69th minute. With DC defender Brandon McDonald down, United tried to make a substitution. But the ref waved play on, and Julian De Guzman fired in a shot from long range that Cronin couldn’t get a hand on. United protested vehemently, with coach Ben Olsen seeing red and joining Hamid in an early exit.
With the draw DC (6-6-9, 27 points) stay solidly in the Eastern Conference playoff hunt. Toronto (3-11-11, 20 points) remain last in the East with nine games left in the season.
DC -- Dwayne De Rosario 7 (Santino Quaranta 1) 19
TOR -- Peri Marosevic 2 (unassisted) 52
DC -- Dwayne De Rosario 8 (Chris Pontius 3) 64
TOR -- Julian de Guzman 1 (Ashtone Morgan 1) 69
TOR -- Danny Koevermans 3 (Joao Plata 4) 86
DC -- Dwayne De Rosario 9 (penalty kick) 88
Toronto FC -- Stefan Frei, Richard Eckersley (Matt Stinson 51), Doneil Henry (Peri Marosevic 46), Andy Iro, Ashtone Morgan, Torsten Frings, Eric Avila, Terry Dunfield (Julian de Guzman 55), Joao Plata, Danny Koevermans, Ryan Johnson.
Substitutes Not Used: Danleigh Borman, Ty Harden, Eddy Viator, Milos Kocic.
TOTAL SHOTS: 17 (Joao Plata 6); SHOTS ON GOAL: 7 (Danny Koevermans 2, Joao Plata 2); FOULS: 12 (Andy Iro 3); OFFSIDES: 4 (4 tied with 1); CORNER KICKS: 5 (Joao Plata 3); SAVES: 5 (Stefan Frei 5)
D.C. United -- Bill Hamid, Perry Kitchen, Dejan Jakovic, Brandon McDonald (Ethan White 69), Daniel Woolard, Santino Quaranta, Stephen King (Steve Cronin 9), Clyde Simms, Chris Pontius, Dwayne De Rosario, Josh Wolff (Austin Da Luz 60).
Substitutes Not Used: Brandon Barklage, Blake Brettschneider, Marc Burch, Charlie Davies.
TOTAL SHOTS: 13 (Dwayne De Rosario 7); SHOTS ON GOAL: 8 (Dwayne De Rosario 4); FOULS: 6 (Dwayne De Rosario 2, Santino Quaranta 2); OFFSIDES: 4 (Dwayne De Rosario 3); CORNER KICKS: 4 (Santino Quaranta 3); SAVES: 4 (Steve Cronin 4)
DC -- Bill Hamid (ejection; Serious Foul Play) 7
DC -- Dwayne De Rosario (caution; Unsporting Behavior) 79
Referee: Jasen Anno
Referee's Assistants: -Brian Poeschel; Bill Dittmar
4th Official: Andrew Chapin